06 NOVEMBER 2019 / ETH Zurich Launches the Rehab Initiative

ETH Zurich has announced today that: “ETH researchers are planning to partner with clinics, foundations, public authorities and other institutions through the broad-based Rehab Initiative, aimed at improving the quality of life and participation of people with physical disabilities."

"The initiative, which was announced to the press today, focuses on a centre that will be a nexus of ETH Zurich expertise, with up to eight new professorships and the new Rehabilitation Science and Technology Master’s programme.”

SNF is proud to collaborate with ETH Zurich on this important initiative. More specifically, SNF will support a new professorship in the area of barrier-free, inclusive architecture, named the professorship in Architecture, and Care, one of eight new professorships designed to dovetail with one another to provide a comprehensive scholarly underpinning for the ETH Rehab Initiative. Architecture’s power to shape how we interact with our world and relate to one another is so pervasive as to often be invisible. Consciousness of this power runs through a thread of SNF support that also includes architect Renzo Piano’s thoughtfully designed plans for forthcoming new hospital facilities in Komotini, Thessaloniki, and Sparta.

Several major ongoing projects supported by SNF grants are premised on the idea that athletic competition can be a platform and a catalyst for achieving deeper social goals. ETH Zurich’s CYBATHLON applies this approach to progress in an area of growing need around the world: technology to assist people with physical disabilities in going about their lives. At the 2020 CYBATHLON, which will be held this coming May with support from SNF, people with physical disabilities will compete with one another in challenges based on commonplace tasks while putting to use the latest assistance technology, like exoskeleton and brain-computer interface systems. The event aims to inspire further research and development of these technologies, to highlight the limitations of current technologies, and to encourage discourse on inclusion for people with disabilities.

Both the CYBATHLON and the new Professorship in Architecture and Care are part of ETH Zurich’s new Rehab Initiative, launched by ETH on November 6, 2019. SNF is proud to partner with one of the world’s most distinguished academic institutions to offer knowledge, dissemination of best practices, and experimentation on issues related to accessibility.